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North Carolina Abortion Ban After 20 Weeks Before Appeals Court

The constitutionality of North Carolina’s ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy is being weighed by a federal appeals court. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled remote arguments Thursday by attorneys for abortion providers who sued to overturn the ban and for the local prosecutors and state officials who are defendants. A federal trial judge declared in 2019 the law was unconstitutional because the 20-week limit prohibited some abortions before a fetus could live outside the womb. Issues of legal standing and the ban's lack of enforcement by prosecutors have entered court briefs.